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Windmills of the Minds

Counselling & Wellbeing Services for adults, young people and children

'When the wind of change blows, some build walls, while others build windmills'

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My Blog

Blog

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Being my own Worst Enemy.

Posted on April 5, 2020 at 4:18 PM Comments comments (11)
I have heard these words many times in the therapy room.  'I am my own worst enemy'.  I can remember saying them to my therapist some years ago. Now it did not happen over night, I didn't necessarily force changes, it happened naturally.  I befriended myself , I do nice things for me, I work on making better decisions, I practice reassuring, comforting and lower my expectations of myself. 

We can explore how we came to this place of treating ourselves badly?
We can think about where did it all start?

We may find ourselves creating havoc in relationships, over committing, letting others down.
We may find ourselves thinking we are bad people, not worthy, choosing less than we deserve. 

Exhaustion and chronic fatigue may be physical symptoms.
Constant headaches from feeling pressured. 

It may not a specific time or place when the blaming or shaming started. When guilty feelings propelled us into giving too much. 
It is usually over a period of time,  when repeated messages are reinforced, by parents, society, cultural beliefs, religion, peers, teachers. 

Think about if you put yourself last or  find it difficult to say no? Feel constantly heavily compromised? 

I want to be clear, the way I practice is not about blaming others. Therapy allows us the time to understand, firstly what we are doing that's  badly affecting our life and secondly the reasons. We can in time learn to understand how these ways of beings are now established in our relationships, decision making and life choices. 

Imagine what it is like to have an embedded splinter, it may be painful, sore, irritating, you know its there. 
It may be slightly embedded so we can see it, or it may have got buried beneath the skin, we may need help to remove the splinter. For a while it will feel worse, it may hurt finding the splinter, it may take some time. Eventually though, it will heal, you will not be bothered by it. 

Therapy is about  considering your own responsibility and what others are responsible for. Of taking responsibility for your life, your choices and your behaviours. To consider your own needs as well as others. Therapy might free you, liberate your choices and mindset.
Or choose to live a simpler, happier, more content life.

We can learn to befriend ourselves. Therapy is not an easy journey, for some it is a difficult and emotionally turbulent.  For most, the feedback is,  that it has been worth it.

Paul Gilbert is one guru for self compassion. Check out his resources.


Sarah  May Thorpe.

Get in touch. 

Book an initial consultation by emailing [email protected]
or telephone 07727115371
Visit my website - windmillsoftheminds.com

All work is currently remote due to the Covid 19 (Coronavirus)

If you are concerned about working therapeutically, over the telephone or video, lets talk about it, we may be able to reassure you of any fears or concerns that may be stopping you, or decide that waiting for face to face sessions is the safest option. 

The power of listening to your children

Posted on January 6, 2017 at 8:56 AM Comments comments (0)






Listening well is a skill that takes some time to practice and master.  To be able to listen well to your child consider the following. This will usually reduce any behavioural issues, confusion and most of all strengthen the bond between you both. 

If you can, forget your own concerns, stop what you are doing for the time being and concentrate on what they are saying, watch body language for extra clues. Listen for content and feeling, what is it they are trying to tell you? How are they feeling?

If you don't have the time to stop, let your child know that you want to listen to them and will make time for them once you are able to.

Look at your child, eye contact and make physical contact if your child is comfortable with this.

Check with your child that you have heard and understood them well, reflect back to them their words.

Listen out for themes, repeating words, how they say they feel, hurt, angry?

Listen without judging or trying to offer them a solution. Encourage them to think of possible solutions if there is a specific problem. Or they may need a hug or someone to listen and know they understand. 

By doing this we strengthen the bond by 
DEVELOPING TRUST
COMPASSION
SUPPORT
UNDERSTANDING 
FEELING VALUED

Children will feel 

HEARD
UNDERSTOOD 
IMPORTANT
SUPPORTED

Your child will learn skills 

EMPATHISING 
LISTENING TO YOU AND OTHERS
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
VOCABULARY TO EXPRESS EMOTION

If you would like more support in building this relationship with your child please contact me [email protected] to discuss services offered.


Millennium Parenting

Posted on December 7, 2016 at 1:17 PM Comments comments (0)
Sharing my thoughts with you today about parenting in the millennium. Parenting has changed so much over the years, thinking of myself being parented as a child, to parenting my eldest and youngest child.
I strongly believe that the changes are a really good thing, smacking children and eliminating punitive punishments are some of the best things to happen over the past 20 years.

Reasons why? Let me share a few examples, punitive punishment that are intended to make a child feel guilty, ashamed and embarrassed of his actions is simply not going to help their confidence or the relationship with a parent strong. Messages such as, ' wait till i tell your teacher what you have done' or ' you are a horrible child for hurting your friend', are not going to teach them how to behave, only how to feel bad and guilty for being a child.Putting children in the corner is considered a punitive punishment and is widely discouraged.

The seasonal message used by many parents is' Santa is not coming now'... this breaks my heart because children are so vulnerable and believe what we say. To use presents as a punishment to me is setting a parent up for a really hard time up to Christmas, with tears and tantrums for all the family.

Teaching a child firm boundaries is essential, not doing anything or laughing at children for hurting another is going to leave you wide open for many problems down the road.

What we need is a good balance of discipline and love. Telling a child what they should be doing is much more effective in my experience of many years of working with children and parenting. Giving them choices and consequences also works really well.

Unfortunately we have messages on social media that say bring back old punishments. 
There's a reason they have been replaced because of damage to children's well being.
Especially when used excessively.

There are many ways to manage behaviours that will not involve hurting a child. Keeping calm and handling behaviours immediately will help you and your child.

If you ever feel like a stuck record then no doubt you are out of control and end up exploding at children because of the frustration. You are not alone, it happens. We need to learn how to discipline assertively, effectively to help our own and our childs wellness. 

No parent is perfect and we all parent in different style. However, when it comes to setting boundaries and consequences, having a clear plan of rules and expectations and agreeing this with a partner or other family will reduce your stress levels to a healthy level.

For more information on Triple P parenting programmes and family support please visit my website.

www.windmillsoftheminds.com




Listening- a missing element of social media?

Posted on November 4, 2016 at 10:28 AM Comments comments (0)
I think social media is a wonderful tool to share information but i have been wondering about the missing element 'Listening'. 

Scrolling through twitter or facebook, there is so much information to read, so much on mental health and well being, also there are people like me posting blogs on well being.

If you will kindly indulge me with your thoughts, i would love to listen to you on social media. 

What helps you cope with being human and living in todays world?
What helps you if you feel depressed or anxious ?
How do you feel about all the information available on social media for maintaining  well being and relationships? 
What do you do to look after your own well being?
Who do you go to for support. Do you know how to access counselling and other support services in your area?


Please comment below.



'If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together. African Proverb

Posted on October 15, 2016 at 6:56 PM Comments comments (0)
Have you ever felt lonely, disconnected, isolated? Most of us will experience loneliness in some form or another at some point of our life.

Thoughts such as, 'no one cares' and 'no one understands me' often arise at these times

Today rather than focus on the problems of loneliness, let us focus on how you can feel more connected to others.

Deeper, meaningful relationships help us to feel a strong connection with people. Relationships that are nurtured, equal and loving offer us a sense of comfort and well being.
A sense of warmth and feeling cared for.

First of all it is important in my experiences and knowledge, to learn to have a good relationship with yourself, yes you.
We need to understand ourselves, our likes and dislikes, our behaviours and what makes us tick. Being caring to yourself will mean you can give to others and expect that you are treated with the same treatment. You deserve to be treated well. 

Treating others with consideration and giving time and attention will often be given back to you in many different ways, by different people. Notice the difference when you go into a shop to buy something and the person takes time to talk to you, be friendly and kind. Yes they may be doing their job, but nonetheless you will leave feeling much happier than when someone has not looked at you, been rude or flippant with you.

Surrounding yourself with people who have similar beliefs, attitudes and morals to yourself will give you support. 

Relationships, the way you relate to others, is the simple way to live. We don't need to complicate the issue, we just need to recognise our own behaviour towards others and if we cannot change it alone find someone to support you to be able to recognise the reasons you may not be able to relate to others.

There is never a magic cure to finding an instant fix to our difficulties, however working on the solution and recognising this takes effort and commitment will enable movement.

To find out more on how you can find support on relationships please visit my website

www.windmilsoftheminds.com

Book references
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Soulmate-Experience-Practical-Extraordinary-Relationships/dp/0984562206/ref=sr_1_23?ie=UTF8&qid=1476572064&sr=8-23&keywords=relationships

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Loving-Yourself-Another-Self-esteem-Relationships/dp/0091856760/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1476571995&sr=8-14&keywords=relationships

Barriers to therapy -Q & A- What stops us from accessing talking therapies?

Posted on October 6, 2016 at 1:28 PM Comments comments (0)
What might stop you from accessing talking therapies?

This is what some people say and my thoughts and responses based on my experiences so far.

Talking to someone will not change the past.
We are not able to change the past, we can feel differently about what happened in the past and learn to let go of being stuck in the past.

I am a man, I don't talk about my feelings.
For some men it is difficult to overcome the belief that men don't talk about their feelings. Not all of course, there are some men who are very expressive. However, for some, it is a challenge. If you are feeling stressed and finding it hard to cope, being able to express how you feel with a counsellor can be a safe place to do so. Many men access counselling and find it helps them to feel more confident,  be able to communicate and improve relationships with others.

I am too old
Irvin Yalom a great psychotherapist is a fine example that working in therapy with older people is very beneficial. Older people are facing different life challenges such as retirement, children leaving home, bereavement, losses and changes in body and mind. Having worked well with older people and seeing the differences this makes to their well being, I feel privileged to have the opportunity.

Will I have to lay on a couch?
There are definitely no couches to lay on. We sit on sofas.

People will think I am crazy or not able to cope if I go to see a counsellor
Many people now access counselling for many reasons. People of different ages and walks of life. Seeking counselling is a sign of courage, asking for help can be incredibly difficult. Also we don't have to be mad to be in counselling. People attend counselling for many reasons such as a life changing event.

I don't know what I am meant to do when in there
In counselling sessions we will talk about how you like to work, whether it is in a structured or unstructured way, or using more creative methods if you prefer.

50 minutes seems a long time to be sat talking to someone.
If you feel anxious and think starting sessions for 30 minutes will help you, we can be flexible.

I want to access counselling but haven't the time or money
No doubt accessing counselling takes time. If you cannot find the time for yourself it may be a sign that you are not able to make space for your own needs.
Private counselling does incur a financial investment, however, there are concessions and ways of budgeting money if you feel its worth it to you.

Reading material

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Loves-Executioner-Irvin-D-Yalom/dp/014197544X

http://www.mind.org.uk/media/494424/we-still-need-to-talk_report.pdf





Were you bullied as a child?

Posted on September 4, 2016 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (0)
In this mini blog I highlight the types and the impact of bullying and how and where you can get help.

Bullying is an issues that affects so many children and has long lasting affects on adults... have you ever been bullied for long periods?

If you have you may still find that you hear the names in your head that the bullies called you. Often people find it hard to shake the name calling, the emotional messages from bullies. Bullies can of course may be parents or siblings, along with peers at school or in other environments.

Now there is also the issue of cyber bullying, an added dimension for children and young people.

Prince William has produced a video please click on the link below. He is campaigning for the Naional Stand Up day, this was set up by the Diana Award charity.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=national+stand+up+day+prince+william+you+tube&view=detail&mid=0E7FE04F6E30BDC4658F0E7FE04F6E30BDC4658F&FORM=VIRE

Bullying can cause long term mental health issues if the person does not receive help for the trauma that this can cause. Physical and emotional bullying can drive children to want to find an escape, sadly some have felt so alone and unsupported that they have ended their life.

Lets not let this continue, if you are a parent or carer reading this or you work with children you can beware of signs to look for and changes in behaviour.

Unexplained injuries, frequent headaches. feeling sick. Eating habits change, difficulty sleeping. Decline in school work, feeling hungry because they did not eat lunch.
Suddenly falling out with friends, avoiding situations,. They often begin to feel bad about themselves and feel helpless and powerless. Their belongings or money going missing.

Can you imagine having to go to school or be at home and have someone constantly calling you names and hurting you? Children are vulnerable, they are not able to make this stop on their own, they need your help. Do not ignore the problem thinking it will go away or your child is exaggerating.

Here are some links to read more information on how to get help and what you can do if you are being bullied or know someone who is.
http://www.bullying.co.uk/
http://www.bullying.co.uk/
https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect/bullying-and-cyberbullying/

I have worked with many people who have experienced bullying in childhood and in adult hood. I can support children or adults to process the issues of bullying and to rebuild self esteem.

If you are interested to discuss further please contact me to find out more.

Sarah Thorpe.

The little things, are the big things in life......

Posted on August 24, 2016 at 4:07 PM Comments comments (0)
Having recently recorded an interview with two fabulous women who are raising money for the Doncaster Cancer Dectection Trust, both also having battled cancer themselves. 
My thoughts to share with you, are around the little things in life...you know the things that really count, they really aren't the little things.  they are the big things. Things that really matter.

Whether that is the morning sunrise, the smell of fresh bed sheets or the warmth of your childs hand in yours.

The moments of sheer happiness or sadness that touch you deep within, births and deaths, moments of joy, moments that cause us to reach into the soul and find that place that can become hidden day to day in all the hustle and bustle of life.

The love that we feel for the ones close to us, family and friends. The time that we have on the earth, the sights, sounds and smells of the world. The sound of the sea, the feel of the warm sun. 

What are your 'little, big things' in life?
.
What makes you think of how precious are time here is on earth..time spent with family?

If more focus could be on these priceless gifts of life, instead of the pricey gifts of life then maybe we would be able to get our priorities in order, to feel that inner warmth more often...i know i can go off track about what really counts, then something helps me remember, such as  talking to people who are making a difference and care about one another.

I welcome comments

Thank you for reading.

Mini Blogs- Childrens Counselling - When might my child need counselling?

Posted on July 28, 2016 at 11:34 AM Comments comments (0)
Childrens counselling can be useful for many difficulties or challenges they may be facing and struggling with. Bereavement. loss, parents separating, self esteem and confidence.

Whatever the reason children can benefit long term from some one to one therapeutic work. Counselling can help release feelings, understand emotions and help the child to regulate their emotions. Behavioural issues can be worked through in counselling. If you child is feeling angry having a safe space to express this anger can help them to feel calmer and less aggressive.

Parents can play an important part in their childs therapy by listening to their child when they want to talk (not asking too many questions) and by sometimes seeking help for their own needs. For e,g if you are struggling to come to terms with a bereavement then your child may be a picking up on your behaviours and emotions, 

Parents can learn to respond to their children differently by not reacting, staying calm and finding time to your self to be able to meet your own needs,

I can help both parents and children to recover from any emotional upsets and create more resilient families.

Visit
www.windmillsoftheminds.com to find out more

I feel lost without my children ...Empty nest syndrome

Posted on July 26, 2016 at 7:24 AM Comments comments (0)
I am sure if you are reading this and you have small children then you may find it hard to understand how parents may feel this way. However, lots of parents do and will.

Many parents feel a deep sense of loss and feeling literally 'lost' not knowing what to do when children leave the home to live somewhere else or go to university. 
 
Like any loss, the stages of grief may hit home, depression, being the most common feeling, mostly because parents (being one myself and having experienced this) feel a sadness. 

Working parents may regret that they did not spend more time at home with their child, or any parent, may have regrets about something or other and therefore feel guilty.

Whatever it is your feeling as a parent, be accepting of the feelings, there is no need to feel silly for feeling this way. Every emotion is valid, we do not need to push it away and try to get on with life, or be feel pressured to 'get a life'. 

You can help themselves by allowing whatever you need to feel, to be expressed and be fully felt.

After all, you are their mum or dad, or carer, grandparent and you have spent many years rearing them, laughing, crying and being there for them through all kinds of challenges.

Nothing you do can change the past, none of us are ever going to not regret anything, that is part of the process of life. In hindsight, we could have always done more or different.
Once we can fully feel the pain of the loss, this will shift, and we can celebrate a new beginning of the next stage of life.

However, be prepared for your children to return to the nest... but that is another story for another day.

A good article to read below.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/empty-nest-syndrome-the-long-goodbye-2330118.html



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